It’s that time again! Time for some reading reflection. And, boy, do I need it. I read and blogged a lot this month!
But first, let’s hit some news!
Er, which should be interesting considering I write these posts in advance…
News. If my auguring skills are up to snuff:
Correction: There is no Hugo Award this year. It has been replaced by the SPewgos.
In better news, (probably), the BSFA Awards Ceremony happened this weekend! And either Nina Allan, David Hutchison, or Simon Ings won! Probably David Hutchinson. Or Nina Allan, if the BSFA is feeling avant-garde this year. Either way, I’m happy! Yay for the BSFA… even though I didn’t completely agree with that overlong shortlist that easily could have been culled of three books because THAT was a waste of a Spring Break.
Correction: Those three mediocre books topped the vote. Way to go BSFA. I’m mad at you now.
Also, the Clarke Award shortlist was announced. Wasn’t it? If not, it’s really overdue.
More Correction: It was just released! Super stoked for Hutchinson and North after the disappointing BSFA results! Mandel’s is a fresh take on a old story, but that’s about it. Not really interested in the other novels, but it’s a good looking list.
I started the month blogging about Edgar Pangborn’s raunchy post-apocalyptic tale Davy (1964). Pangborn’s voicing is full of that dry, witty stuff I like, but, although the world feels like it could be the twin of Brackett’s (1955) The Long Tomorrow, Brackett did it better.
(“Brackett did it better” has a nice ring to it. I just like saying it.)
Then I posted my 100th review! Which happened to be my new all-time favorite book by one of my favorite authors: The Years of Rice and Salt (2002) by Kim Stanley Robinson. So that was perfect timing and completely unplanned and I am lying, I totally planned it that way.
To the utter dismay of TBofNS fans, I completed my daunting journey through The Book of the New Sun with Gene Wolfe by posting a half-hearted review of The Citadel of the Autarch (1983). But don’t all first-time readers get a free pass if they don’t grasp most of it? Isn’t that the point? I’m already prepping for my second read, by the way! So far, John Clute’s essays in Strokes are the first essays I’ve encountered that convince me that I might actually care about the transsubstantial tale. Severian’s mother!
Then, I went all Taoist in my review of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven (1971), which was really just a cop-out because I never feel up to reviewing Le Guin, and I just wanted an excuse to read her version of the Tao Te Ching, which includes some very Le Guin-like commentary.
For the final two weeks of March, I went on a BSFA book review spree and posted infobyte reviews nearly daily for all eight nominees in the best novel category. I read and enjoyed five of the novels long before the BSFA shortlist was announced, and could easily have lived without reading the final three. Sorry Ancillary Sword, Cuckoo Song, and The Moon King, you did not impress me.
Also, I only typoed BSFA once. Bsssfffa. Bssssfffffa. Bssssffffa. (Every fucking year.)
Books Read, Books To Be Blogged
I read Kate Wilhelm’s post-Sweet Birds thriller Welcome, Chaos (1983) for Joachim’s Kate Wilhelm review series at Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations. I’ll share a link when it gets posted. (Chris’, a.k.a. Admiral Ironbombs, much better review of Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang has already posted. Check it out! Then read the book!)
Other book reviews to look forward to:
Bones of the Earth (2002) by Michael Swanwick
Brittle Innings (1994) by Michael Bishop
A History of the Restoration of English Magic by John Segundis (otherwise known as Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (2004) by Susanna Clarke, but really, my title is better)
Stand on Zanzibar (1968) by John Brunner
The Whole Man (1964) by John Brunner
Which means we definitely have John Brunner Week coming up! Sheeting yeah!
Books To Be Read in April:
This month looks to be a dull, man-heavy month. (“That’s every month for you, Megan!” – is what everyone is saying.)
The Mote in God’s Eye (1974) by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (Pushed back due to the Wilhelm addition)
Fire Time (1974) by Poul Anderson – Anderson always bores me.
Iron Council (2004) by China Mieville – Finishing the Bas-Lag not-a-series. Word counter charging.
The Wanderer (1964) by Fritz Leiber – More Big Time and less Lankhmar, please.
Emergence (1984) by David Palmer – I think is one of Tammy’s favorite books.
Total March Book Tallies
Total books blogged: 12
Total books read: 7
Books about outer space: 1
Books about dystopias: 5 (plus 2 about real-world war, so let’s just go ahead and make that 7)
Books about AI: 2
Books about telepathy: 1
Books about menstruation: 1
Books about baseball: 1
Best book of the month: A tie between Jonathan Strange (an old favorite) and Stand on Zanzibar, but Brittle Innings deserves special mention. I can’t wait to talk about these books!